My heart beats a little slower, as I draw in a breath of crisp summer morning air. My green mug holds the steaming cup of coffee, freshly brewed and I do my very best to wait patiently for it to cool slightly. The question rings in my ears, “What can you do to stop an open adoption from closing? How do you prepare?”
Rage bubbles beneath my surface again, and I realize that it was this question alone that spun me into a dizzying trance of sadness and hopelessness. I wanted to write, “Nothing. You can do nothing,” because that is the actual reality. I wanted to write, “Fuck preparing for it, tell adoptive parents they can’t get away with this sort of bullshit.” Instead, I wrote the sort of eye-rolling tripe that one writes when pandering to an audience that just doesn’t quite get it yet.
If they will ever get it.
You don’t prepare for an adoption closing. You spend your entire experience wondering if it will. You know that you are living on thin ice, and that at any moment a little crack could cause you to crash beneath the surface. You wonder daily if that will happen, even when your open adoption is picturesque. You worry that as quickly as that babe was rushed out of the room during the day you relinquished, if it will happen again. Because, it could happen again.
I wonder if they care now what this means, our closed adoption. I wonder if they realize the impact it could potentially have on him, and how their secretive nature about their life, and allowing him access to me could profoundly destroy his trust in them. What will he do when he knows that I lived that close, that I wanted to know him, and to be close to him? Will he just smile and place no fault on them, or will he feel the same seething rage that I feel now? A sort of betrayal with a hint of disgust.
And then there was a picture. A picture of him and his sister, and his adoptive mother. Her arms protectively wrapped around her daughter, her biological daughter, and him, to the side. Do they know that when they stand together in pictures he’s always on the outside, just on the periphery? It looks as though his body is screaming that he doesn’t trust them, but he wants to stay close, because it’s all he has. It looks as though they feel more affectionate to their biological children, and have almost rejected him, but won’t admit it. He’s been a difficult child for him to raise; what did they expect? Did they expect that he would just meld into their genetics and be identical to them, or did they simple plead the same ignorance they plead now, assuming they didn’t need to learn anythingnew?
Am I imagining what I see?
My coffee has cooled and I take a long sip. The buzzing of the morning traffic has begun, and I try to morph out of the thoughts that have kept me awake for most of the night, and infiltrated my dreams when I wasn’t. How could I have prevented my open adoption from closing?
I could have continued to follow their golden carrot. I could have smiled and repressed all my thoughts about their indiscretions with me, and with him. I could have not admitted that I disagree with their juvenile and swift diagnosis where they use me as a scapegoat. I could have never blogged about any of this.
I could have been the good birthmother, the textbook one the agency sold them, the one they wanted. They never wanted me as a person, they wanted the role of a birthmother to be filled by a shapeless girl who had no personality and catered to their every whim. It could have been anyone, because they never wanted me. They just wanted him, though it appears like they barely even want him.